ila dusk alarms
I go to Clark University, located in the great, big city of Worcester, Massachusetts. Clark is located in one of the "worst" areas in Worcester: Main South. While I think a lot of the doom and gloom about Main South is based in suburbanite paranoia and lack of street smarts (well of course there's a likelihood you'll get mugged in any city walking around alone at 3 a.m. with your purse in plain sight!) I acknowledge that there is a certain danger to living in an urban area, especially for women. At my small school of 2000 students, it's not surprising when the University Police warn us of a mugging or an armed assault that's happened on campus or close to it. Most of us have become very conscious of making safe choices-- I don't walk around at night without my boyfriend, or at all if I can avoid it, and I definitely do not venture outside campus at certain hours-- but still, things happen.
And if they do, you want to be as prepared as possible.
That's where the ila Dusk comes in.
I read a review of the ila Dusk awhile ago on Gala Darling, and I was immediately taken with these little personal alarms. When Sophie, a representative from the company, saw my comment, she decided to be so kind as to send one my way.*
The ila Dusk is designed to emit a loud, piercing scream when you tug its cord out to activate it and scare the bejeesus out of your attacker. Research shows that screaming will also be more likely to get a response than the car-alarm-like sound most personal alarms make, according to its description at Handpicked Store. And how loud are we talking? 130 db-- about as loud as a Jet plane.
And just so you know, when you set it off, it will continue "screaming" for 8-10 minutes, unless you replace the pin quickly. It's not recommended you fool around with it too much, though. According to Sophie O'Gorman from the ila company,
"The product can be used more than once if you only take out the pin to show someone how it works or to test it and put the pin back in after a few seconds. The total duration of the scream is about 8 minutes, so if you take out the pin and don't put it back it it will scream for around 8 minutes and then you will need to replace your alarm."
I tried it out for a few seconds the other day and it's pretty darn loud. I definitely think if you set this off in front of an attacker, either the sound itself would definitely startle him, or the loudness would make him nervous that someone would come see what's up. There's a video of a British journalist trying the ila Dusk, so you can see what it sounds like. In her case, she seemed to be testing if someone would call for help or come to her rescue, but I personally don't think that's the alarm's main purpose. Rape alarms are supposed to create an escape opportunity, which I think it would do-- note how the alarm makes the reporter jump at one point. Now imagine shoving that in an unsuspecting person's ear.
Another great thing about the ila Dusk? It's adorable.
It simply looks like a cute keychain, so no one will be any the wiser that you're carrying an alarm. I've gotten a few compliments on it, and anything that's useful and gets itself noticed in a positive way is awesome in my book. I'm in love with it.
Personally, I wouldn't rely on this as a sole method of protection. I think every woman should learn martial arts or take a self-defense class. While I do think this alarm could prove helpful, you have to take into account what happens if the attacker recovers quickly, you run and he is faster than you, help doesn't arrive, etc. This is awesome to have, and I feel safer carrying it, but I recognize it's only part of the personal safety picture. (I'd also recommend you carry this on hand in dangerous situations to prevent not being able to find it in your purse).
These lovely alarms have finally arrived stateside, and you can get one at The Handpicked Gift Store for an extremely reasonable $29.99! Those of you in the UK can purchase one at Marks & Spencer.
Head over to the ila website to check out other cool alarm options, including dog leashes and key rings. They even have an armband that fits your iPod and an ila POCKET alarm for safe jogging.
What are you waiting for? Go on!
* I was offered the ila Dusk for review. I received it for free. I was not given any money for this review. I was not told there were certain things I had to say about it-- other than where it's available-- nor was I required to give it a good review. I would not recommend the ila Dusk if I didn't like it.